Hank Goldberg Dies: Longtime ESPN NFL Reporter, Analyst Was 82

His final appearance on ESPN was in May, in a phone interview from the Kentucky Derby.” /> Goldberg joined ESPN2 when the network launched in 1993 and remained with the network for the next 21 years.
Hank Goldberg, longtime ESPN NFL reporter and handicapping expert known as Hammering Hank, died Monday in Las Vegas on his 82nd birthday after battling chronic kidney disease, his family confirmed to ESPN.
“I used to call Al Davis every Sunday morning for information,” Goldberg told the Las Vegas Review-Journal earlier this year. Goldberg also worked with late Raiders owner Al Davis on Snyder’s The NFL Today TV segment.
At the time, Shula told Goldberg, "You finally got rid of me," to which Goldberg replied, “Coach, that’s not a story I ever wanted to report.” He went on to become the Miami Dolphins' radio color analyst. It was Goldberg who broke Dolphin's coach Don Shula’s retirement following the 1995 season. Goldberg began his career in the 1970s as an assistant to handicapper Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder.
Goldberg was formerly the host of an afternoon-drive show on all-sports network 560 WQAM in Miami. Goldberg exited WQAM in December 2007 when his contract expired. He also served as the morning-drive host for a brief stint after Howard Stern left for satellite radio.
He was a contributor for ESPN's Daily Wager, appearing weekly during the NFL season and appearing occasionally for the Triple Crown races. With ESPN for two decades, Goldberg was .500 or better in 15 of 17 NFL seasons while predicting games, according to the network.

“No Specific, Credible Threats” To New York City, Fireworks To Go On As Planned, Says Top Cop

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While holiday celebrations are held in communities throughout the larger New York City area, the largest by far is the Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular, in which thousands of fireworks shells will be set off from five barges along the East River.
New York City Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell is assuring New Yorkers that "there are no specific, credible threats" to the city's 4th of July celebrations and that holiday displays are continuing as planned despite the mass shooting in the Chicago area this morning.
As many as 3 million spectators are expected to attend the New York City event. ET, with musical performances, appearances by Broadway casts and other entertainment in addition to the fireworks display. The Macy's event will be broadcast live on NBC tonight at 8 p.m.
"Preparing and securing these types of large-scale events is what the members of the NYPD do on a daily basis," Sewell said in a statement (read it below), "and we continue to work closely with our city, state, and federal partners to endure everyone's safety."

James Cameron Says He May Not Direct ‘Avatar’ 4 & 5

His enthusiasm is strong, however for the upcoming films.
Cameron was too busy with the Avatar films at the time, but remained on board as executive producer and co-writer. Cameron previously tapped Robert Rodriguez to helm Alita: Battle Angel, a film he had long planned to adapt for the screen and that fans of the graphic novel it was based on, had hoped he would direct.
I don’t know.” I think eventually over time – I don’t know if that’s after three or after four – I’ll want to pass the baton to a director that I trust to take over, so I can go do some other stuff that I’m also interested in. “I’ve got some other things I’m developing as well that are exciting. “The Avatar films themselves are kind of all-consuming,” Cameron tells Empire in an interview. Or maybe not.
Avatar: The Way of Water hits theaters globally on December 16, 2022.” />
Avatar: The Way Of Water is set more than a decade after the events of the first film. It follows the Sully family (Jake, Neytiri, and their kids), the trouble that follows them, the lengths they go to keep each other safe, the battles they fight to stay alive, and the tragedies they endure.
The sequel also stars Sigourney Weaver, Kate Winslet, Michelle Yeoh, Edie Falco, Stephen Lang, Giovanni Ribisi, Oona Chaplin, Jermaine Clement, among others.
I actually hope I get to make it. It’s a motherfucker. Three is in the can so it’s coming out regardless. I really hope that we get to make four and five because it’s one big story, ultimately.” Movie four is a corker. But it depends on market forces. “I got more excited as I went along. “Everything I need to say about family, about sustainability, about climate, about the natural world, the themes that are important to me in real life and in my cinematic life, I can say on this canvas,” Cameron said.
As the world awaits the December premiere of Avatar: The Way Of Water, James Cameron's sequel to the highest-grossing movie ever, comes word that Cameron may not direct the later two planned films in the series himself.

Police: “Significant Progress” In Highland Park Parade Shooting Investigation; Suspect Still At Large – Update

Chicago time. Refresh for updates throughout… Five of the six casualties in the Highland Park parade shooting were adults and died at the scene, city officials said during a press briefing at 3:30 p.m. A sixth person was pronounced dead at a hospital; information on that victim was not disclosed.
Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering,“On a day that we came together to celebrate community and freedom, we’re instead mourning the loss, the tragic loss, of life, and struggling with the terror that was brought upon us,”

Covelli said the FBI is assisting in the investigation and search for the suspect. Police are asking parade spectators to review their cellphones for video and photos that might provide clues and to contact police with the information.

The suspect was not in custody at the time of the briefing. Police officials said that "significant progress" is being made in the investigation into the shooter, with a "very active apprehension effort" in place.

A Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Ill., outside Chicago, has left six people dead and multiple injuries, according to officials. At least 24 people have been hospitalized with serious injuries.
But there is much more work to do, and I’m not going to give up fighting the epidemic of gun violence. I recently signed the first major bipartisan gun reform legislation in almost thirty years into law, which includes actions that will save lives.
have canceled their own official Fourth of July activities. Nearby towns including Deerfield, Ill.
" A message on the city's official Facebook page says, "SHELTER IN PLACE. All 4th of July events have been canceled. Take shelter if in downtown HP. Highland Park Police are responding to an incident in downtown Highland Park. Please avoid downtown Highland Park.
As of this report, the shooter remains at large. Shots began firing within 10 minutes after the parade commenced at 10 a.m. CT today.
No words." "I’m sick to my stomach every time news like this comes out, but I don’t wish the pit in your stomach as you call your family and friends to make sure everyone is okay on anyone. "I grew up in Highland Park and this parade is a highlight of the year for so many families," tweeted actor Rachel Brosnahan.
Police are still searching for the gunman, according to city officials. Chris Covelli of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office said the shooting "appears to be completely random” Law enforcement officials are urging people downtown to shelter in place.
As always, we are grateful for the first responders and law enforcement on the scene. I have spoken to Governor Pritzker and Mayor Rotering, and have offered the full support of the Federal government to their communities. Jill and I are shocked by the senseless gun violence that has yet again brought grief to an American community on this Independence Day. I also urged Federal law enforcement to assist in the urgent search for the shooter, who remains at large at this time. Members of the community should follow guidance from leadership on the ground, and I will monitor closely as we learn more about those whose lives have been lost and pray for those who are in the hospital with grievous injuries.
A fire department official said at least one of the more than two-dozen injured in the shooting transported to a hospital was a child.
https://twitter.com/RachelBros/status/1543998670688976900″ />
Earlier this afternoon, President Joe Biden has released the following statement in response to the Highland Park shooting:
A rifle was retrieved at the scene, but the suspect should still be considered armed and dangerous. Covelli described the weapon as a "high-powered rifle."
At a press conference just before 1 p.m. Chicago time, Covelli described the suspected shooter as a white male, 18-20 years old, longer black hair, small build, wearing a white or blue t-shirt.
Officials said there is no indication that the shooter, who apparently fired from a nearby roof, is barricaded in the immediate area.
I will stand firm will Illinoisans and Americans: we must – and we will – end this plague of gun violence" Illinois Governor JB Pritzker also issued a statement saying, in part, that "grief will not bring the victims back, and prayers alone will not put a stop to the terror of rampant gun violence in our country.

Italian Judge Orders Paul Haggis Released From House Arrest In Sex Abuse Case — Update

Talking to journalists after the hearing this morning, Laforgia said Haggis had declared his "complete innocence" and reiterated that any relations with the woman had been consensual.
UPDATE, 2 PM: A judge in Italy on Monday ordered film director Paul Haggis released from house arrest while prosecutors decide whether to pursue their investigation into allegations of sexual assault against him, The Associated Press reports.
Haggis had remained under police detention in a hotel in southern Italy since June 19 following allegations by an unnamed British woman that he had non-consensual sex with her over two days while he was in Italy to participate in an arts festival in the tourist town of Ostuni.
Haggis has maintained his innocence, according to his lawyer.
According to local media reports, he first met his accuser at a film festival in Monte Carlo in April and has been in regular contact with her since then, which resulted in the invitation to join him on the Italian trip.” />
Haggis, the Canadian film director whose Crash won the Best Picture Oscar in 2006, has been under police detention in a hotel in the town of Ostuni just outside the Southern Italian port city of Brindisi since Sunday following allegations by an unnamed British woman that he subjected her to non-consensual sex over the course of a number of days.
Local investigating judge Vilma Gilli made the decision to extend his house arrest today after a three-hour preliminary hearing with Haggis and his Italian lawyer Michele Laforgia in Brindisi on Wednesday morning. She ruled out prison detention for the director, saying there was little danger of him trying to escape.
The next step in the process will be a special evidence pre-trial hearing outside the court, the date of which has yet to be set.
He added that the director had been fully cooperative with Italian authorities and had no intention of leaving the country until his name was cleared.
PREVIOUS, June 22: An Italian investigating judge Wednesday ruled that director Paul Haggis will remain under house arrest amid ongoing investigations into allegations of sexual assault against him.
Haggis was in southern Italy to attend the Allora film festival in Ostuni, where he was due to give a masterclass.

Jon Stewart Slams The Supreme Court Choice To Overturn Roe v. Wade Calling The Process “Kabuki Theater”

The ruling reverses 50 years of precedent from the landmark 1973 case that gave women in the U.S. The ruling sparked nationwide protests. Casey — that largely maintained the right. the right under federal law to terminate a pregnancy, and a subsequent 1992 decision — Planned Parenthood v.
Wade that made abortion a constitutional right in America. Jon Stewart has publicly denounced the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the historical case of Roe v.
He also criticized the confirmation process calling it “kabuki theater”
"When you look at the ridiculous kabuki theater now of justice confirmation, where they can just go out there and just fucking lie, like if this were about debate, then they would've understood what perjury meant," he said.” />
States can't regulate guns, but they can regulate [uteruses], you know?” On his show, The Problem with Jon Stewart, the comedian stated that the Supreme Court is “the Fox News of justice.” He continues, "I mean, there is no consistency.
"It is a cynical pursuit in the same way that Fox News would come out with 'we're fair and balanced' under the patina of what would be a high-status pursuit to the betterment of society, journalism," he said. "They are a cynical political arm."

Arnold Skolnick Dies: Designer For The Iconic ‘Woodstock’ Poster Was 85

He did attend Woodstock for one day, but left before the rain started. Skolnick was paid $12,000 for the work, splitting the fee with a copywriter.
“It was just another job, but it became famous.” “I brought it by to (the festival producers) on Monday afternoon,” said Skolnick, who received the assignment on the Thursday prior..
Arnold Skolnick, the designer of one of the most iconic images of the 20th century with his poster for the Woodstock festival, died June 15 in Amherst, Massachusetts at 85. .The cause of death was respiratory failure, according to his son Alexander Skolnick.
But its inspiration was the catbirds he was sketching on Shelter Island, New York. As for the bird, Skolnick says many people thought it was a dove. “I forgot to tell the printer that the beak should be black,” revealed Skolnick, “and so it’s a red beak.” Originally, Skolnick toyed with the idea of a flute in the image, but then switched to a guitar.
Skolnick is also survived by his grandchildren Mose and Charna, and sister Helene Rothschild.” /> Suvivors include his sons Alexander and Peter from his first marriage to Irish Jay.
Below it was the slogan “3 Days of Peace & Music.” Skolnick was not a huge fan of rock music when he designed the poster on a deadline of several days. Skolnick was 32 at the time, and created the “peace, love and music” message with an image of a guitar neck with a white bird perched atop.

“Completely False”: Ricky Martin Denies Domestic Abuse Allegations After Police File Restraining Order

The 'Livin’ La Vida Loca' singer’s denial follows an announcement by local police on Saturday that a domestic abuse restraining order had been filed against him.
The complaint was made under Law 54, also known as the Domestic Abuse Prevention and Intervention Act. The Associated Press reported that police had been unable as of Friday to issue the order against the singer, because they had not by that point reached him.
"The allegations against Ricky Martin that lead to a protection order are completely false and fabricated," representatives for Martin told People magazine. "We are very confident that when the true facts come out in this matter our client Ricky Martin will be fully vindicated."
Police spokesman Axel Valencia told AP that the order prevents Martin from contacting the complainant and that a judge will later decide whether the order should remain in place. The petitioner of the claim has not been named.
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Her lawyers have filed a sometimes scathing 15-page document in support of her claim, adding, "With Rebecca at his side, Martin made millions of dollars and therefore owes Rebecca substantial commissions." It’s been a troubled week for the star, sometimes dubbed ‘the King of Latin Pop’ with his ex-manager Rebecca Drucker suing him for $3million in unpaid commissions. Drucker managed Martin during two separate time periods, from 2014 to 2018 and later from 2020 to 2022.
"We confirm that the Puerto Rico Police is in the process of filing a protection order, under Law 54, issued against Mr. Enrique Martín," police said in a statement.
Ricky Martin has denied all allegations in a domestic abuse restraining made against him in Puerto Rico over the weekend.

Royal Couple Raises Eyebrows With Recruitment Of Top Tabloid Exec For Comms Secretary Role

Lee Thompson will soon join them from NBC Universal.” /> Andreae’s recruitment follows the appointment of a new PR adviser by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, following their disastrous trip to the Caribbean earlier in the year.
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall have surprised some with their choice of new communications secretary, recruiting deputy editor of the Daily Mail Tobyn Andreae.
The Duchess of Cornwall is reported to be hoping to build on the positive media coverage she has received in recent years, compared with the ‘third person in this marriage’ tag she received during the scandalous Charles v Diana era.
The choice of Andreae has raised some eyebrows as his employer of 20 years, Associated Newspapers, has previously been on the opposing side of two legal actions brought by Charles’s son Harry and his wife, the Duchess of Sussex.
The Prince of Wales is currently facing his own media barrage, with recent reports revealing he personally accepted cash donations for one of his charities, and questioning his judgement in providing personal access and bestowing honours to donors of his many causes.
Speaking to the BBC last year, Andreae revealed that his newspaper “has very strong, very powerful views that not everybody agrees with, much to my amazement.”
Andreae’s salary will be paid for out of the Prince’s private income from the Duchy of Cornwall.
The Times of London reports that Andreae will start his new role in the coming months, and the royal couple hope he will be a strong driver of their public relations in the run-up to the Prince of Wales ascending the throne.

“Plain Wrong”: Rupert Murdoch’s TalkTV Makes Public Apology To Mental Health Charity Over False Claims About Asylum Seekers’ Legal Fees

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TalkTV added in its apology, “We didn’t offer Mind an opportunity to respond at the time and are happy to do so now. We are sorry for any confusion caused by the discussion on the show.”
We shout about this from the rooftops,” the charity said. Our work is around supporting mental health. “What TalkTV got wrong wasn’t that we work with refugees, but how we do it.
The new right-leaning anti-‘woke’ channel, with its flagship show presented by Piers Morgan and broadcast in Australia and the US as well as the UK, has struggled to find a domestic audience since its debut, with Rupert Murdoch reported to be taking a keen interest in possible changes or even mooting a merger with year-old similarly talk-based channel GB News.
TalkTV, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch, made an on-air apology on Friday, admitting it had erred in questioning “why various organisations, including Mind, were providing funding to a charity called Migrants Organise.”
It says it’s transparent about the work it does and details of the projects it funds are on its website.” It said: “Mind has pointed out to us that the funds it gave to Migrants Organise were given for specific work to support mental health and not for legal fees of illegal immigrants.
Mind complained that the claims were “plain wrong” and that the charity had never been approached for comment by the channel.
TalkTV has been forced to make a public apology to mental health charity Mind after claiming live on air that it funded the legal fees of asylum seekers.
Mind reported receiving negative messages about their work when the item was originally broadcast and that it had only found about the erroneous claims when informed by supporters of its work.
On June 10, presenter Mike Graham said on his show, ‘The Independent Republic of Mike Graham’ that the charity claimed to fund mental health support while actually paying migrants’ legal fees.

Revolutionary British Theater Director Peter Brook Dies In France aged 97

In the 1950s, he started working with the Royal Shakespeare Company, directing Sir Lawrence Olivier in Titus Andronicus at Stratford in 1955.
He was born in West London to parents of Lithuanian Jewish heritage on March 21, 1925. After attending Westminster School and Oxford, he put on his first production, Dr Faustus at the Torch Theatre in London in 1943.
By his early 20s, he had been appointed director of production at the Royal Opera House, where he distinguished himself with an experimental production of Richard Strauss’s Salome featuring sets by Spanish surrealist artist Salvador Dali.
Ground-breaking France-based British theater director Peter Brook, who revolutionized 20th-century theater, has died at the age of 97-years-old in Paris.
Later landmark ICTR productions included 1985 The Mahabharat, a nine-hour version of the epic Hindu poem, adapted with Carrière, and the 2005 work Tierno Bokar about a Malian Sufi, which became the basis for a wider worldwide discussion on his life and message of religious tolerance.
He moved to France permanently in the early 1970s to set up his International Centre for Theatre Research (ICTR) in the French capital.
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In the early days of the ICTR, he famously took its company – which included British actress Helen Mirren and Japanese actor Yoshi Oida – on a tour across the Middle East and Africa to test out his ideas around theater.
His most famous productions of this period include his Tony Award-winning production of Marat/Sade by German playwright Peter Weiss, which was seen as daring at the time for its use of nudity and violence. Brook spent the late 1950s and 1960s, working between London and New York.
On his return, he restored the rundown Bouffe du Nord music hall as a permanent home for the centre. It opened on October 1974 with a production of Shakespeare’s Timon of Athens, adapted by late French playwright and screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière.
The director, who pioneered taking theater outside of traditional theatre houses, mounting productions in unexpected venues such as gymnasiums, abandoned factories and old gas works, was renowned for his experimental and out-of-the box approach to staging classic and new works alike.

‘Minions: The Rise Of Gru’ Boogies To $202M WW As ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Flies By $1.1B & ‘Jurassic World Dominion’ Rumbles Past $800M – International Box Office

Outside the Top 5, Argentina is tracking to $3.3M, the top animation opening ever for box office, and the 3rd best among all titles; Brazil grossed an estimated $3.2M; Poland is estimated at $2.4M — the top Universal and Illumination animated opening of all time, and the 2nd biggest animation ever excluding previews. The opening day had already broken the record as biggest of the pandemic, beating Spider-Man: No Way Home. Netherlands is seeing $2M, just 1% off Minions excluding previews and the Middle East as a whole is forecasted to $4.7M.
The Top 5 openers this weekend were the UK ($12.9M), Mexico ($12.4M), Germany ($4.8M), Spain ($3.6M) and Indonesia ($3.4M).
The next markets to open will be Korea on July 13 and all of Latin America on July 14.
1 in the market for a $42M cume. France, where the reduced-price ticket scheme La Fête du Cinéma began today, grossed $2M at No.
In other notable performances, Germany was down just 7% from last weekend for a $25.6M cume; Brazil has grossed $19.3M; Taiwan ranked No. 1 again with an $18.8M cume; Mexico has cumed $13.6M; and Saudi Arabia zoomed up 22% from the previous frame for a $14.8M running total.
Warner Bros’ Baz Luhrmann-directed biopic added $15.7M on 8,305 screens in 57 international markets during the sophomore frame — a terrific hold of -28%. The overseas cume to date is $46.2M for a worldwide total of $113.5M through Sunday.
The overseas total through Sunday is $544.5M. To wit: Paramount/Skydance’s hypersonic Top Gun: Maverick passed the $1.1B global threshold, grossing a further $37M in 65 markets — another outstanding 16% drop from last weekend internationally.
The overseas IMAX total on TROG is $1.3M.
Overall, the marketplace is robust and it’s refreshing to see so many big-ticket pictures across different genres comfortably co-existing.
The cume is now $27.5M. 1 in the market. The 2nd weekend in Korea grossed $10.8M at 528 locations, up 1% from the opening weekend and ranked No.
The UK’s hold was an impressive -18% for a further $3.4M and an $84.8M total to date.
Mexico is the next best market at $41.3M — higher than the previous two movies in the franchise — followed by the UK ($37.2M), France ($22M) and Australia ($21.8M). The latter two are in line with Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom at the same point of play.
This Tom Cruise-starrer catapulted across $1B global last weekend and now counts $1.109B worldwide through Sunday. Still soaring in 65 markets, it saw a drop of only 16% from the previous session to add $37M for an offshore cume of $544.5M.
In the fresh hubs, the debut was $81.5M. The Rise Of Gru, the latest entry in the globe’s biggest animated franchise, had previously bowed in Australia last weekend and this frame added another 60 markets.
Spain is playing across 424 locations and 873 screens with the overall weekend estimated at $3.6M, the biggest animated opening of the pandemic and just below Minions and DM3.
Universal pulled out all the stops on a global marketing campaign that included pop-up stores, music festival appearances and shopping mall takeovers as well as a clever TikTok “Minions In Suits” challenge that went viral over the frame.
In Israel, the TikTok stunt “Minions in Suits,” helped propel the movie to $1.5M for the biggest animation opening of all time as well as Universal's 2nd biggest opening weekend of all time excluding previews (only behind Fast 8).
The global running cume is $74.4M. Universal/Blumhouse’s horror pic added five markets this session to bring the total to 50. The Ethan Hawke-starrer grossed $8.3M for a 28% drop in the holdovers. The overseas cume is $27M, ahead of Don’t Breathe, Ouija, Old and Halloween Kills at the same point.
Gru and the crew set some new milestones internationally with four markets scoring the biggest animation opening weekend of all time (Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Venezuela); and 52 markets setting the best animated launch of the pandemic (see more detail in the breakdowns as they are updated below for all films).
Says Universal Pictures International President of Distribution, Veronika Kwan Vandenberg, "We couldn't be happier for Chris Meledandri, the filmmakers, cast and crew and our partners at Illumination. This result is testament to the enduring love for this franchise, the exceptional film they have delivered and the enormous collaboration between Illumination, our Universal teams around the world and our partners in exhibition."
The cume there is $57.6M. Japan delivered $3.6M on the 6th weekend from 379 sites, ranked at No. 1 for the 6th weekend in a row.
Australia also saw a bump (+5%) for another $3.9M and a $51.5M cume.
The offshore cume is $492.7M after adding $26.8M in 72 markets this frame. And, Universal’s Jurassic World Dominion stomped past the $800M mark globally — only the 4th Hollywood title to get there since the start of the pandemic. With $824.5M, it is the No. 3 film of 2022 worldwide.
Top market plays are Mexico ($8.3M), UK ($3.3M), Saudi Arabia ($1.8M), France ($1.5M) and Germany ($1.1M). Australia and Brazil release later this month.
The offshore cume through Sunday is $93.7M for $202.2M worldwide. The overseas portion is running just 13% below Minions at the same point and 3% behind Despicable Me 3. After debuting in Australia last session, this origins story from directors Kyle Balda, Brad Ableson and Jonathan Del Val came in above expectations with an $87.2M weekend in 61 markets.
In Australia, and with kids' holidays, the sophomore session increased by 50% versus last weekend for a running cume of $12.2M.
Japan was the biggest opening market this session, taking $1.1M on 407 screens. This was 46% ahead of House Of Gucci and 29% over Moulin Rouge. Word of mouth is strong with Yahoo users giving the picture 4 stars out of 5, Eiga.com 3.6 out of 5, and Filmarks 3.9 out of 5.
Germany’s weekend is estimated to reach $4.8M from 698 locations and 1,359 screens, in line with DM2, and below DM3 and Minions.
France, Japan, Korea and Italy are still to unleash the little fellows. Including Australia, results in Week 2 are tracking 13% below Minions and just 3% below DM3. In like-for-likes at today’s exchange rates, the new openers are 23% below Minions and 13% below Despicable Me 3.
Breakdowns on the films above and more are being updated below.
2 with an estimated $2.9M for the three days, posting the 2nd best opening for a non-local animated title during the pandemic era. With kids holidays in Australia, Buzz got a bump of 20%. Japan was the new opener at No. Disney/Pixar’s spinoff fell by 58% overseas, adding $11.3M in 45 material markets. The offshore cume is now $82.2M for $187.6M global.
The global total this weekend topped $800M to reach $824.5M. Universal’s dinosaurs chomped on another $26.8M in 72 markets this session, bringing international close to $500M with $492.7M so far.
Refresh for latest…: Coming in slightly above the estimates we reported on Saturday, Universal/Illumination’s Minions: The Rise Of Gru has boogied to an $87.2M weekend at the international box office. That lifts the offshore cume to $93.7M for $202.2M worldwide to date.
There are still such major markets to go bananas as France, Korea, Japan and Italy.
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Japan is still to come at the end of the month.
The Top 5 comes are Mexico ($16.2M), UK ($10.5M), Argentina ($5.6M), Australia ($5.1M) and France ($4.8M).
As of last weekend, 4DX and ScreenX have grossed $37M globally while in Korea, the new SX at CGV Yeongdeungpo in Seoul had a per-screen average of over $123K last weekend. IMAX’s global total is now $94M with $43M from international.
The UK leads play at $12.4M, dipping just 27% from opening weekend and ranking No. 2 behind Minions. 2 behind the debut of Rise Of Gru this session. France ($3.7M), Germany ($2.2M) and Italy ($1.7M) round out the Top 5. Australia is next at $11.3M, seeing a fantastic 13% drop and also ranking No.
China, where JWD is the biggest import of 2022, dipped by just 25% for a $129.2M cume.
Indonesia is on track for an opening weekend of $3.4M from 776 screens, the biggest Universal and Illumination launch weekend of all time including previews.
Saturday saw a 50% bump versus Friday (which had seen the best start ever for a Universal animated film and an Illumination title). The UK was the biggest opener at $12.9M. The Friday/Saturday are 2% ahead of the first film, and 6% ahead of the opening two days for Incredibles 2.
As noted above, there were milestones aplenty while 11 markets had the biggest Universal animation opening weekend ever excluding previews (Argentina, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Egypt, Pakistan, Poland, Uruguay, Turkey, Chile, Norway); and 14 markets had the top Illumination animation launch weekend of all time outside previews (Argentina, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Pakistan, Poland, Uruguay, Turkey, Chile, Norway, UAE, Vietnam, Sweden, Egypt).
Mexico is estimated at $12.4M across 920 locations and 4,053 screens. This would make it Universal’s 3rd biggest animated opening weekend behind Minions (-15%) and DM3 (-4%).
Warner Bros' Elvis slipped by just 28% in its sophomore frame for a $15.7M weekend in 57 international markets. The offshore cume to date is $46.2M with global crossing $100M to reach $113.5M through Sunday.

Crosby, Stills & Nash Back On Spotify, Ending Joe Rogan-Fueled Boycott

That's because they've decided to return to Spotify, ending a boycott of the streamer that began in February in protest of podcaster Joe Rogan's content. Crosby, Stills and Nash apparently aren't giving us just a song before they go.
“Until real action is taken to show that a concern for humanity must be balanced with commerce, we don’t want our music — or the music we made together — to be on the same platform.” “While we always value alternate points of view, knowingly spreading disinformation during this global pandemic has deadly consequences,” the band wrote.
The boycotts concerned Rogan's podcast guests, some of whom promoted theories on the pandemic that were counter to the official narrative. Billboard reported.the return of the group's music as of Saturday. David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash originally announced they were leaving the streaming service, joining ex-bandmate Neil Young and others.
To soften the return's impact, the 50-year-old CSN said it would donate streaming proceeds to “COVID-19 charities for at least a month,” the magazine said. Crosby, Stills & Nash formed in 1968, with Young joining a year later.
A joint statement issued by the group at the time said they agreed with Young’s concerns of Rogan spreading “dangerous disinformation” about the COVID-19 pandemic through his podcast.
The group has not been active since 2015.” />

‘Dune: Part Two’ Ramping Up Production This Month

The Mary Parent, Cale Boyter, Villeneuve and Tanya LaPointe produced Dune grossed $400M WW and won six Oscars after being nominated for ten including Best Picture.” />
Scarpa designed the concrete structured area between 1968-78 comprised of a small chapel, a reflecting pool, an arcosolium, and gardens with Byzantine and Japanese accents. The shoot in Italy is reportedly taking place at the Carlo Scarpa designed Brion Tomb, a modernist looking area which looks ripe for the Dune universe.
Deadline has confirmed local reports out of Italy that Legendary Entertainment's Dune: Part Two is pre-shooting in Altivole, Italy in the Veneto region as early as tomorrow for two days. Full-on production with a bulk of the cast returning is scheduled for July 21 in Budapest, Hungary, which is where the 2021 title also filmed.
 Hunger Games begins filming in two weeks. We'll see if both tentpoles live on the same weekend farther down the road after marketing materials roll out. While Dune appeals to older guys, Hunger Games is aimed at young women. Neither studio is flinching yet. Dune: Part Two plopped itself on the same release date as Lionsgate's prequel The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.
20, 2023 to the pre-Thanksgiving date of Nov. pushed the release date for the Denis Villeneuve directed sequel from Oct. 17, 2023. Pic's original cast of Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Zendaya, Javier Bardem and Josh Brolin are reprising their roles with new castmembers Léa Seydoux as Lady Margot, Florence Pugh, Christopher Walken and Austin Butler joining. As we reported last week, Warner Bros.

‘Days Of Our Lives’ Star Kristian Alfonso Is Back – But It’s A New ‘Day’ In Her Career

The soap star claims she didn't sing "We are never, ever, ever getting back together" when it came to her leave from Days of Our Lives. Kristian Alfonso isn't Taylor Swift.
Alfonso left Days in 2020 after a 37-year stint. Now, she's returning, reprising her role of Hope Williams Brady in the Days offshoot Beyond Salem, which premieres July 11 on Peacock.
I said that I will not be popping in and out like other actors have done in the past. She added, "“I have seen online where viewers have stated that I said, ‘Never’ regarding [returning someday] — I never said never. I didn’t say I’m never, ever coming back. I was not absolute.”
But now, there's a twist to that story.
“[Beyond Salem] is, I feel, a branch of it.” It's not a return, Alfonso insisted in an interview with Soap Opera Digest.
Those episodes include Alfonso’s final episode.” /> Her return on the offshoot sets up a competition of sorts. Days of Our Lives has returned from its pandemic hiatus and has originals in the can that will take it through early October.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom Has July 4 Attack Ad Fireworks For Florida’s Gov. Ron DeSantis

Continuing the war of words between Florida and California – and potentially previewing the presidential campaign for 2024 – California Governor Gavin Newsom has issued a new ad attacking Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Republican governors are "making it harder to vote, restricting speech in classrooms, even criminalizing women and doctors," Newsom's ad claims. "Your Republican leaders, they're banning books," Newsom says in voiceover of images of DeSantis.
The ad is something of a rebuttal to DeSantis's April put-down of San Francisco, wherein he claimed the Bay city was "a dumpster fire" while voicing concerns that its people would relocate to Florida to escape. DeSantis said if they did, they would likely bring the same voting habits that allegedly ruined California to his state.
It goes on to demonize several decisions led by the conservative DeSantis. Newsom's July 4 weekend ad claims "Freedom is under attack" in states run by Republican governors, like Florida.
He added that disgruntled citizens in the Sunshine State are welcome to move to California, "where we still believe in freedom. Don't let them take your freedom."” /> Newsom called on Floridians to "join the fight" against DeSantis. Freedom of speech, freedom to choose, freedom from hate and the freedom to love.

‘Friends’ Co-Creator Marta Kauffman Regrets Show’s Lack Of Diversity, Says She “Bought Into Systemic Racism”

Earlier this month Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman made a generous donation to Brandeis University, her alma mater. She pledged $4 million to establish an endowed professorship in the African and African American Studies Department there.
“I have to say, after agreeing to this and when I stopped sweating, it didn’t unburden me, but it lifted me up. But until in my next production I can do it right, it isn’t over. “I feel I was finally able to make some difference in the conversation,” she said. I want to know I will act differently from now on. And then I will feel unburdened.”” /> I want to make sure from now on in every production I do that I am conscious in hiring people of color and actively pursue young writers of color.
I’ve been working really hard to become an ally, an anti-racist. And this seemed to me to be a way that I could participate in the conversation from a white woman’s perspective." In making the pledge Kauffman said, "It took me a long time to begin to understand how I internalized systemic racism.
Since then, she has been outspoken with her regrets about its shortcomings — both in front of and behind the camera. Friends, which Kauffman co-created with David Crane, has been criticized through the years for its lack of diversity. Kauffman at the time saw the show as being unfairly targeted.
“I’ve learned a lot in the last 20 years,” Kauffman continued. It’s painful looking at yourself in the mirror. I’m embarrassed that I didn’t know better 25 years ago." “Admitting and accepting guilt is not easy.
But she told the Los Angeles Times this week that she has now connected the show's shortcomings in this area to her own failings.
The Grace and Frankie co-creator said that's what led to the donation.
I knew then I needed to course-correct. “It was after what happened to George Floyd that I began to wrestle with my having bought into systemic racism in ways I was never aware of,” said Kauffman. “That was really the moment that I began to examine the ways I had participated.

‘Rocketman’ Star Taron Egerton Reveals Talks With Marvel Execs About Taking On Wolverine Role

 ” />
The Rocketman star told The New York Times about his desire to pick up the baton from Jackman and play the character central to both the X-Men and Avengers franchises.
He plays an imprisoned drug dealer in the six-episode series adapted by Dennis Lehane from the prison memoir of James Keene. Egerton’s character faces the offer of a commuted sentence if he is able to convince his fellow inmate to admit to serious crimes. The British actor will appear next in Apple TV+ drama Black Bird, to debut on July 8.
He had previously collapsed on stage on the first night and later been diagnosed with Covid-19. He recently appeared on stage in London’s West End in the play Cock but was forced to pull out of the show citing personal reasons when a family member became ill.
"But hopefully if it does come around, they’ll give me a shot."
Egerton, who got his big break in Matthew Vaughn’s Kingsman: The Secret Service in 2014, has previously co-starred with Jackman in 2016’s Eddie the Eagle.
Taron Egerton has revealed that he has been in talks with Kevin Feige and other Marvel Studio executives about taking on the role of Wolverine, previously brought to screen by Hugh Jackman.
I’d be excited but I’d be apprehensive as well, because Hugh is so associated with the role that I’d wonder if it’d be very difficult for someone else to do it. Egerton said: "I don’t think it would be wrong to say that.

“He’s Misunderstood”: Succession’s Brian Cox Reveals He Had Misgivings About Playing “Horrible” Logan Roy

Cox told The Times the show’s creator and writer Jesse Armstrong had told him not to be fooled by all the jokes in the show, “It is a tragedy.”
But then Cox realised, “He’s not a horrible man at all. He’s a very misunderstood man.”
They are critiques, strong critiques. Succession is a modern comedy of manners about people who are disconnected from the fundamental roots of life.”” /> “There’s almost a kind of socialist imperative about those shows he writes.
Cox told The Times of London of his Golden Globe-winning performance in the HBO hit drama:
I have a lot of respect for him.” He’s constantly making people wake up, even though it’s brutal in a way. He knows how to get people going and he deliberately shakes people up. “What I love about Logan is he’s got a wicked sense of humour.
Fans have speculated on whether the Roys are inspired by the Murdoch clan, the Trumps or possibly another family, but Armstrong has always demurred, saying his characters were a combination of different people.
He told The Times of London he believes Succession to be “a very sad show” despite the humour and quick-fire wit between the characters. The show is currently filming its fifth season, after the season four finale saw Logan Roy betrayed by all his children together, and having to look to an outsider to continue his dynasty.
The Scottish actor pointed to the fact of the media mogul being let down by each of his children in turn. “It’s endlessly disappointing for him.”
Cox said of Armstrong’s sharp satirical pen when pointed towards such characters as the Roys:
Brian Cox initially had reservations about playing his singular character of Logan Roy on Succession because he would have to pay “this horrible man for all this time.”
The Scottish actor plays Logan Roy, media behemoth and patriarch of a privileged, dysfunctional family whose members have constantly supported then betrayed one another through four seasons of the increasingly popular drama.

“National Security Risk”: TikTok Responds To Concerns Over User Data, Republican’s Request To Remove App From Apple & Google Stores

TikTok is the latest social media platform to come under the scrutiny of US lawmakers, with Republican senators and a regulator both arguing that the app poses a national security risk.
The Guardian adds that a Republican member of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) also requested chief executives of Apple and Google to remove TikTok from its app stores while the issue is ongoing.
The Guardian reports that Nine Republican senators this week issued a later to TikTok following a report by Buzzfeed last month claiming that employees of ByteDance (TikTok’s parent company) were able to access private data of American users from their work location in China.
The company's letter acknowledged that China-based employees “can have access to TikTok US user data.” However, it argued that access is subject to “robust cybersecurity controls and authorization approval protocols overseen by our US-based security team.”
Experts put the company’s value at between $50 and $75billion. In September 2021, it reported one billion monthly active users worldwide, representing a 45 percent growth compared to the previously reported figure of 689 million in July 2020. TikTok has quickly become one of the world’s biggest social networks.
TikTok responded to the senators’ letter, confirming that the company is working with the Biden administration on an agreement that would “fully safeguard user data and US national security interests,” according to a copy of the letter seen by Reuters.
TikTok’s chief executive Shou Zi Chew wrote that ByteDance was working with US cloud computing company Oracle on “new advanced data security controls that we hope to finalize in the near future.”
 ” />

Liev Schreiber “Struggles” With Calls To Boycott Russian Art & Says Putin Is Counting On “Chaos & Misinformation” – KVIFF

He co-founded the network, which vets humanitarian aid organizations for Ukraine as well as acting as a financial conduit to transmit donations, with law firm Ropes & Grey and consultancy firm IntegrityRisk (both operating pro-bono). Schreiber, who was last in Karlovy Vary in 2004 to talk about his then-upcoming Czech-filmed directorial debut Everything Is Illuminated, talked at length on Saturday about BlueCheck Ukraine.
But the idea of ever censoring or boycotting artists is something that is hard for me, and I feel challenged by because one of the things I love about our constitution is that it protects free speech. Certainly, one of the things I love about being in the arts is that there is the idea of, ‘if it’s true, it’s worth knowing.’ So, I think we have to be very careful about the media coming out of Russia since it’s so state-controlled or film for that matter or the propaganda coming out of Russia right now.” The actor-director said, “We do have to be careful with media and we do have to be careful about what we consume.
They need our resources. But they’re doing an amazing job.” “They just need our support. They need our attention, and they need for you guys to remember them and that they want to be a part of our community, the global community, the European community and the democratic community. They need our money. “Ukrainians are already incredibly resourceful and they’re doing a great job taking care of themselves,” he said.
Last week, several leading Ukrainian filmmakers including Dmytro Sukholytkyy-Sobchuk (Pamfir), Maksym Nakonechnyi (Butterfly Vision) and Valentyn Vasyanovych (Reflection) penned a letter to the long-running Czech festival for the inclusion of Russian title Captain Volkonogov Escaped in its Horizons sidebar. The festival’s president Jirí Bartoška, executive director Kryštof Mucha and artistic director Karel Och all denied that the film distracts the international community from war crimes committed in Ukraine and rather was “an indirect, but very distinct criticism of the current Russian state regime.”
“There is this perception of the Eastern Block that it’s dangerous to donate and that there’s corruptions and you don’t know where your money is going,” he said. “My idea was that we find a way to cut through all of that.”
“And so when the invasion began, I began thinking about what it meant to be Ukrainian and to be honest, I have absolutely no idea, particularly when I see men my age who are graphic designers or stonemasons or artists hugging their children and saying goodbye to their wives and picking up guns and preparing to fight in a war in which they are vastly outnumbered and outgunned and not knowing whether they’ll ever see their families again.” “It could be argued that pretty much everything that I’ve done in my career, in some way or another, was inspired or drawn from something of [my grandfather’s] life,” Schreiber said.
“Having said that, the reason that I believe, and everyone always asked me why I think Ukraine is going to win, is because I believe that they are going to come out of this eventually on the right side of history. And I believe that because they have the truth on their side.” “I struggle with the idea of boycotting any kind of art or expression,” Schreiber told journalists at a press conference at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival on Saturday.
Schreiber said his Ukrainian grandfather has had a remarkable impact on his life and, off the back of this, he felt inspired to do something to help the country as it continues to be ravaged by war.
Journalists were shown footage of Schreiber’s recent time in Ukraine where he spoke directly to organizations such as Kidsave, which has helped children and orphans to flee Ukraine safely, and Lviv National Philharmonic, which is currently acting as an aid organization. The video of the latter drew the actor-director to tears.
Here's the link to BlueCheck Ukraine.” />
While Ukrainian filmmakers have called out international festivals such as Cannes and Karlovy Vary for the inclusion of Russian titles in their lineups, Liev Schreiber, who has Ukrainian roots stemming from his maternal grandfather, admits he “struggles” with the idea of boycotting art of any kind.
Schreiber, who was in town to discuss his initiative BlueCheck Ukraine, stressed that what is most in play right now is truth in the media, saying that “misinformation has become a dangerous new idea in both America and abroad and I think that is something that Putin is counting on – chaos and misinformation.”

‘The Full Monty’ Star Hugo Speer Sacked From Show By Disney+ After Allegations Of “Inappropriate Conduct”

Other than The Full Monty, the 53-year-old actor has featured in Britannia, Marcella and The Musketeers.” />
Hugo Speer, star of Disney+'s upcoming Full Monty reboot, has been removed from the show by the streamer after allegations of "inappropriate conduct."
Speer, who played Guy in the original and was reprizing the role alongside the likes of Robert Carlyle and Lesley Sharp, will no longer feature in the TV reboot.
“As is policy, an investigation was launched. Upon its completion, the decision was made to terminate his contract, with immediate effect," added the statement.
A spokesperson for Speer told Deadline he denies all allegations and will be challenging them.
Disney+ said it had been "made aware of allegations of inappropriate conduct by Hugo Speer on the set of a commissioned production."

Media Moguls To Gather At Annual Allen & Co. Sun Valley Retreat Amid Streaming Rethink, Economic Woes

It was suspended in 2020 during the worst of Covid but returned last year in a pared-down, masked-and-vaxxed version soon after two major deals were announced — the Warner Media/Discovery merger and Amazon's planned takeover of MGM. Discovery’s then CEO David Zaslav’s first comment to the Sun Valley press cadre a year ago: “We’re not done yet.” The annual ritual of media-mogul whitewater rafting and shop talk is a 40-year, post-July 4 tradition.
Paying with stock is limited now and accessing the debt market, it is more expensive. Companies don’t like to sell at a low point. But an M&A outlook from PwC recently predicted a slowdown in the biggest of big media M&A – which last year was seemed to be just revving up  — amid low share prices and high interest rates.
But Rupert Murdoch is a regular and Bob Chapek — a new three-year contract now in hand — was there last year. Invitees also include tech CEOs, among them Elon Musk, Apple’s Tim Cook, Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon's Andy Jassy and Alphabet's Sundar Pichai. Not all invitees necessarily attend. — and executives from companies that are clients. The list features an array of top-of-the-top of media chiefdom – companies that could or do bank with Allen & Co.
By putting execs in close proximity and in khakis, the Sun Valley conference is credited with planting the seeds of mergers – from Disney’s buying CapitalCities/ABC back 1995, to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ acquisition of The Washington Post in 2013.
Discovery and will likely be more circumspect as the high-debt company tries to deliver on a promised $3 billion in cost savings, and, with its peers, weather a brutal stock market, a Wall Street about-face on streaming, soaring inflation, surging interest rates and maybe a looming recession. Zaslav’s attendance is confirmed, along with that of WBD chief revenue and strategy officer Bruce Campbell, we hear. Now he’s chief executive of the new Warner Bros.
Endeavor just slashed a pending $1.2 billion cash and stock purchase for sports betting platform OpenBet by $400 million yesterday to $800 million.
For invitees Reed Hastings and Ted Sarandos, Netflix co-CEOs, the year since Allen & Co. 2021 has made a massive difference. It stock plunged 70% from the start of the year after shedding subscribers last quarter for the first time, announcing it would lose more in the just-ended June quarter and suddenly unveiling plans to launch an ad-supported service even as it lays off staff. As a result, Netflix is increasingly seen as a takeover target — an unusual shift.
Paramount’s non-executive chair and controlling shareholder Shari Redstone will be back. Both had eyed Warner Media. Paramount (known a year ago as ViacomCBS) wanted a big deal, so did NBC Universal parent Comcast. CEO Bob Bakish was invited but can’t make it. Those two deals shook up media in a scramble of who lost out and what might be next.
Over the next 18 months, "the environment will be clearer," he said.
The Nasdaq was worse, down by nearly 30%, and the Dow fell 15%. Tech stocks have been hardest hit but media underperformed broader markets as the second quarter ended yesterday. crowd is assembling just after the S&P 500 closed out its worst first half of the year since 1970, declining by more than 20%. As a result, the Allen & Co.
And he's not always right but he's not alone: Zuckerberg reportedly told Meta staffers today that, "If I had to bet, I'd say that this might be one of the worst downturns that we've seen in recent history."” />
CEO Ken Yoshida and Jim Ryan, head of PlayStation. Casey Wasserman and Mike Fries too. So is Sony Group Corp. Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch and COO John Nallen are confirmed.
That’s also about when buyers could consider swooping in to acquire WBD. The structure of that deal would entail a hefty tax penalty for any acquirer within two years of close.
An independent Netflix “is gone,” predicted one financier. It’s a very valuable platform but “not a growth story anymore.” Hastings and Sarandos “didn’t manage Street expectations” and in one fell swoop lost a couple hundred million dollars” of market cap, he said, referring to its latest post-earnings video call when the co-chiefs discussed the subscriber shortfall.
Corresponding interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve risk recession, a fear that has hit advertising and may bleed into other areas of entertainment. The Netflix effect has spilled to shares of other streamers as investors question the economics of the high cost, still slim profit business. What happens between now and then is anyone’s guess. Meanwhile, pent up demand, the Russia-Ukraine war and lingering Covid-related supply chain issues have triggered sky-high inflation.
advised CAA). Deals are still in the news. The long gestating CAA-ICM merger just closed (Allen & Co. Elon Musk’s Twitter deal (Allen is an advisor to Twitter) and Microsoft’s purchase of Activison Blizzard (with Allen advising Activision) are pending.
prepares to host its annual Sun Valley retreat. The mountains are as gorgeous as ever, the deal climate not so much as boutique investment bank Allen & Co. After guests arrive on Tuesday, official activities get under way Wednesday.

Friday Ratings: ‘WWE SmackDown’ Tops A Night Of Reruns As Summer Kicks In

In total viewership, a rerun of Blue Bloods on CBS eked out the night's highest audience total with 2.69 million viewers. ABC, CBS and NBC had their nights filled with repeats.
That event streams live on Peacock this Saturday at 8 PM ET. The win comes slightly ahead of the July 4 weekend edition of its PPV extravaganza, Money In The Bank. WWE’s Friday Night SmackDown on Fox won the demo wars with an 0.5.
The final spot in the men's Money in the Bank ladder match saw Madcap Moss beating Happy Corbin, Ezekiel, and The Miz. He'll advance toward the chance at a WWE contract in the PPV.
It's officially summertime, and while the livin' may be easy, as George Gershwin once wrote, television is easing into the season with a slate filled with reruns.
The only other new episode for Friday was on The CW, as Dynasty saw Fallon (Elizabeth Gillies) and Blake (Grant Show) concocting a plot to beat Ben (Brett Tucker in a guest-starring role).
Alas, the plan was little seen by its intended audience, as the demo came in with an 0.0 and just 0.24 in total viewership.” />

‘Minions: The Rise Of Gru’ Suited Up For $200M+ WW Through Sunday; Overseas To Hit $93M – International Box Office

Germany got in on the action on Thursday with $600K, giving Gru the No. 1 spot at 698 locations and across 1,359 screens. The day was worth 50% of the market share.
Gru and the crew are now out in 61 offshore markets, having released early in Australia and adding such majors as Mexico, Brazil, Germany, the UK and Spain through yesterday. SATURDAY UPDATE: Universal/Illumination’s Minions: The Rise Of Gru is lighting up at the global and international box office, set to be the current frame’s No. 1 film domestically, overseas and worldwide through Sunday.
In this weekend’s new markets only, the launch is $81M. Coming into the session, projections were at $70M+, so this is a great bump. The estimated worldwide cume through Sunday is eyed at $202.16M. Of that, overseas is expected to rep $92.7M. The full frame estimates on new markets (excluding previews) are tracking about 20% below 2015’s Minions and 13% behind 2017’s Despicable Me 3 at today’s exchange rates. Meanwhile, the TikTok “Minions In Suits” challenge which we told you about yesterday (see below), continues to go viral.
Poland opened to $700K on Friday, breaking the record of biggest pandemic opening day — beating Spider-Man: No Way Home — and setting the biggest animation opening day of all time and 4th biggest Universal opening ever. It should land at $1.9M through Sunday.
Thursday was the end of the school year, so the timing was strategically fortuitous and word of mouth is great. Czech Republic’s Thursday start was $300K, achieving the biggest animation opening day ever.
The film has cumed $1.2M so far which is above all previous entries in the series at the same point. Indonesia, following sneaks on Tuesday and a $600K opening on Wednesday (which was the Despicable Me franchise’s best-ever and the 2nd biggest animation opening day of all time), added another $500K on Thursday.
Argentina saw uptick on Friday versus Thursday with TROG taking 70% of the market share. The full session is looking at $2.9M. Elsewhere, Indonesia is on track for a terrific $3.6M start; the Middle East has broken records (see below) and is overall seeing $4.2M through tomorrow.
PREVIOUS, FRIDAY: After releasing early in Australia last weekend, Universal/Illumination’s Minions: The Rise of Gru is looking groovy at the international box office, adding $14.6M in 39 new offshore market openings across Wednesday and Thursday. A further 21 markets open today including the UK and Spain. Coupled with Oz’s first week, the running offshore cume through Thursday is $22.5M.
Along with the five markets that scored the biggest animation opening day of all time (see previous story below), Poland is now in the mix as well. Also, 13 markets have had the biggest Illumination opening day ever including the UK. Through Friday, the offshore gross (including Australia) is $40.9M.
The market has now cumed $7.9M, ahead of Minions (+45%), and Despicable Me 3 (+59%) at the same point. Australia boogied to great mid-weeks and entered frame 2 yesterday with a $1.4M Thursday — an incredible +303% on the opening Thursday last week.
TROG nabbed the No.2 opening day for an animated film during the pandemic. Brazil bowed on Thursday to $500K across 732 locations and 2,012 screens. In terms of admissions, the opening day is the second biggest for Illumination, only below Minions. And Argentina kicked off with $400K for the biggest launch of an Illumination animation in terms of box office (which in recent years has been highly boosted by inflation).
The Middle East grossed a combined $1.3M through Thursday from 228 locations and 709 screens.
We'll have a full update on Sunday.
All were sell-outs. Israel’s Thursday opening was $400K — as noted above, the biggest animation opening day ever — taking 80% of business. The film played across 38 locations and on 90 screens. In the market, the local team captured teen audiences with TikTok stunt "Minions in Suits" (ie: going to see the movie wearing a suit) making a splash as user-generated videos went viral and with kids competing on who was buying more tickets.
Latin America is also digging the 1970s-set take on how Gru and the crew got together with Mexico debuting to $1.5M across 920 locations and 4,053 screens, taking 60% of the market share. Including previews this brings the cume through Thursday to $3.2M.
The cume to date is $9.1M, which is 53% above Minions and 71% above DM3 at the same point. In Australia, TROG’s 2nd weekend hold is doing vicious business with a Friday that was almost double last week’s same day.
The overseas projection on TROG was $70M+ coming into the session and so far signs are positive. We’ll know more once we see how the UK performs and will update throughout the weekend.” />
The origins story from directors Kyle Balda, Brad Ableson and Jonathan Del Val is already seeing strong results in several hubs with the biggest animation opening day of all time in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Cyprus, Czech Republic and Israel.
Germany, which has generally experienced some softness lately, jumped 117% on Friday and has cumed $1.8M through Friday with a weekend estimate of $5M. Brazil is at $1M through yesterday with $4.4M on the cards through Sunday. Mexico, which released Thursday this week, increased on Friday to cume $5.2M so far with a projected $12.2M for the session.
‘Minions: The Rise Of Gru’ Notches Best Previews For Animated Pic During Pandemic With $10.8M
The Rise Of Gru is playing across 630 locations and 1,510 screens with the full weekend estimate now at $13.7M. The day’s take was comparable to the opening day of Frozen 2 and Incredibles 2, and 4.5x Lightyear. In the UK, a $3.3M No. 1 opening on Friday was also the best start ever for a Universal animated film and an Illumination title, topping all other Despicable Me/Minions franchise entries.
The gang owned the No.1 spot taking 65% of the market share and grossed almost 6x the No.2 film, Universal’s own Jurassic World Dominion. As for other Friday openers on TROG, Spain captured $1.2M from 176,882 admissions. The weekend is estimated to hit $3.6M. This is the biggest animated Friday opening since Frozen 2. 1s in 376 theaters. TROG is playing across 424 locations, with No.
Philippines opened at No.1 on Wednesday with $89K for the top Hollywood animated opening of the pandemic.

Los Angeles Dodgers Peanut-Pitching Vendor Banned From Pitching Peanuts To Fans

He once appeared on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show to showcase his skills. The peanut-pitching Owens isn't just any vendor. He's been a vendor since 1962 at the Stadium, and is as much a part of the show as what happens on the field.
The Los Angeles Dodgers aren't saying "Nuts to you." They just want peanut-loving fans to be safe when they get their goobers, or so they claim.
Owens told the Los Angeles Times that Levy Restaurants cited fan safety as its reason for the ban.
Vendor Roger Owens, known for his talent of pitching peanuts to fans at games, has now been barred by his employer, Levy Restaurants, from tossing the bags at fans.
“Pitching peanuts to the fans brings a lot of joy and happiness,” Owens claimed. “This joy and happiness hasn’t been there.”” /> Owens is hoping for a similar ruling.
 The art of peanut-pitching started about 60 years ago, Owen said, when a fan seated deep in a row asked fo a bag.
I’m always wanting to make sure that whoever I am throwing to will catch the bag of peanuts. “It’s not some bullet that goes straight through. I want them to catch it, because they feel a sense of accomplishment.”
Still, he isn't challenging the ruling, saying he doesn't want to "pick a fight" with Levy.
“I went behind the back, it wrapped around all these people in the aisle and came right into his hand and everybody started clapping,” Owens told an ESPN “SportsCenter" feature reporter.
“And I was kind of surprised. So I went home and started practicing to an invisible man on the couch.”
The stadium instituted peanut-pitching bans in 1976 and 1985, rescinding the policies when the outcry grew loud. There is hope that Owens will make a comeback.

Google Says It Will Delete Visit History For Abortion Clinics And Other Medical Websites

“Fitbit users who have chosen to track their menstrual cycles in the app can currently delete menstruation logs one at a time, and we will be rolling out updates that let users delete multiple logs at once.”
Its tracking is also addressed. Fitbit, the popular wristband used to track fitness and activities, is also owned by Google parent Alphabet.
In the wake of the US Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade overturn, Google said Friday that it will not retain data on those who visit abortion information and clinics websites.
The company said it would quickly delete location history for people who visit abortion websites and other medical stops.
However, it did say it would “continue to oppose demands that are overly broad or otherwise legally objectionable.”” /> The deleted information for Google and other devices could be used to target users in states where abortion is now illegal. Google did not address how it would respond to law enforcement requests for data.
“Today, we’re announcing that if our systems identify that someone has visited one of these places, we will delete these entries from Location History soon after they visit,” wrote Jen Fitzpatrick, Google’s senior vice president of core systems and experiences, in a blog post.
Those on the quick deletion list include places like counseling centers, domestic violence shelters, abortion clinics, and fertility centers, all of which “can be particularly personal.”

WGA East Members Overwhelmingly Ratify New Contract With ABC News

• The company will provide Diversity, Equity and Inclusion training, including unconscious bias training to bargaining unit employees on an annual basis.” />
• Temps’ comp days will not count against their accrual of seven sick days a year
• Temps who opted out of the pension and health plans may opt in one time during the 3-year contract period
• Labor-management work-from-home committee to review any manager’s decision denying a work-from-home request
and increases in minimums for certain jobs where people work under personal service contracts, such as WABC show producers, assignment editors and continuity writers. The new contract includes overall pay and pension packages that increase minimums by 9% over three years. According to the guild, it also includes substantial increases in the minimum rates for desk assistants in D.C.
• Staff employees will get an additional floating holiday
• Both staff and full-time temps will get recharge days
• Increases in paid time off
WGA East members employed by ABC News have voted overwhelmingly – 96% in favor – to ratify a new thee-year contract. The 110-member bargaining unit includes news editors, news writers, continuity writers, researchers, assignment editors, desk assistants, production assistants and graphic artists based in New York and Washington, D.C who work at Good Morning America, WABC, ABC News Radio, NewsOne, and at the network desks for ABC's national news programs.
• Staff employees will get four weeks of vacation after 10 years of service
Other highlights of the agreement include:
• Vacation differential for full-time temps will increase from 5% to 6%
“This demonstrates that, even in a mature industry, collective bargaining works.” “We are proud our members have won solid increases in pay and pension contributions, gains for full-time ‘temps,’ DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) protections, and more,” said Lowell Peterson, the guild’s executive director.
• “Full-time” temps will get an additional comp day

‘Stranger Things’ Sets U.S. Streaming Record, Nielsen Says; ‘Obi-Wan’, ‘The Boys’ & ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Are Far Behind But Crack Weekly Top 10

streaming in a single week, Nielsen said. The first batch of Season 4 episodes from Netflix juggernaut Stranger Things propelled the series to an all-time record for U.S.
All American (Netflix) – 71 eps., 1.253B minutes
(Mobile viewing is not counted.) The company typically releases weekly numbers on Thursdays, but the latest numbers were held up for eight extra days, with Nielsen attributing the delay to what it called "product enhancements." Along with HBO Max, Nielsen measures viewing only via a TV screen for Netflix, Amazon's Prime Video, Apple TV+, Hulu and Disney+.
Stranger Things (Netflix) – 32 episodes, 7.2 billion minutes of viewing
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The Boys (Prime Video) – 19 eps., 949M minutes
Obi-Wan Kenobi (Disney+) – 3 eps., 958M minutes
Here is the full top 10 for May 30 to June 5:
Apart from a one-off report on Wonder Woman 1984 in December 2020, this week marked the kickoff to Warner Bros Discovery's HBO Max being officially tracked by Nielsen. The Boys on Prime Video finished within a whisker of Obi-Wan, with 949 million minutes of viewing. 5 slot, was Harry Potter franchise spinoff sequel Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore on HBO Max with 758M minutes. Following it in the No.
Cocomelon (Netflix) – 18 eps., 615M minutes
The weekly chart for May 23-29 also had Stranger Things dominating, with 5.14 billion minutes of viewing. The first two Obi-Wan episodes collected 1.03 billion minutes, good for third place.
All 32 episodes of the show racked up 7.2 billion minutes of streaming from May 30 to June 5. That's the most of any title since Nielsen began tracking streaming in 2020, soaring well above the previous record established by Netflix's Tiger King in March 2020.
NCIS (Netflix) – 354 eps., 692M minutes
The Lincoln Lawyer (Netflix) – 10 eps., 966M minutes
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By the week of May 30-June 5, Obi-Wan had three episodes available due to Disney's gradual, non-binge release model. The show's audience was two-thirds male, Nielsen said, making it the most male-skewing title of the week. Age-wise, it was fairly evenly split across the 18-34, 35-49 and 50-64-year-old groups.
The Season 4 episodes premiered on May 27, as did Star Wars spinoff Obi-Wan Kenobi. The two titles already had been identified as breakthrough originals in a stand-alone Nielsen report last month.
Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore (HBO Max) – film, 758M minutes
Ozark (Netflix) – 44 eps., 644M minutes
The final two episodes of Stranger Things 4 went live today and figure to give the overall show a significant boost when the numbers are released later in July. Netflix and the Duffer Bros, the show's co-creators and showrunners, have announced that it will end after its fifth season, though storylines are due to be explored via spinoffs.
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Criminal Minds (Netflix) – 321 eps., 558 minutes” />

Hearst Ramps Up Development Slate With Projects From ‘Top Chef’ & ‘Flip Or Flop’ Producers

EXCLUSIVE: Hearst is ramping up its development slate with two new reality series, The Fashion Pack (w/t) from Top Chef and Nailed It producers Magical Elves, and Live Like The Kings, from House Hunters and Flip or Flop producers PieTown Productions.
In partnership with PieTown Productions (House Hunters, Flip or Flop, Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?). Live Like the Kings is a family ensemble reality series following former girl-group Cherish as they come together to try to heal from the trauma of their past. Hearst’s Zuri Rice and Jason Ikeler will serve as executive producers alongside PieTown Productions’ Jennifer Davidson, Tara Sandler, Nicole Henrich and Jennifer Lange.
The Fashion Pack (w/t) is a reality ensemble series that follows the new wave of Manhattan’s cool kids as they take over the fashion industry, all while navigating friendships, dating, and the New York social scene. Project is produced in partnership with Magical Elves, the production company behind nonfiction content such as Top Chef, Nailed It! Hearst’s Zuri Rice and Jason Ikeler will serve as executive producers. and Cold Justice.
Hearst Magazines expanded into original lifestyle programming in 2019 with the CW’s Ready, Set, Pet and is currently in production on Esquire’s In Transit and Good Housekeeping’s Designer For a Day.” />